Monday, March 26, 2007

That man again

National Review's Iain Murray is really on a tear today. This post brings him back to his day job of arguing against the science of global warming by mentioning that awful man, Al Gore, because, as Jonathan Chait says --

Your average conservative may not know anything about climate science, but conservatives do know they hate Al Gore.

So here's Murray --

There's been a lot of talk the past few days about Iran's "oil weapon." Luckily, the Wall Street Journal energy blog reminds us of an inconvenient truth [geddit?] for that theory:

"Stephen Bailey, senior vice president at Frontier Strategy Group, countered in the CNBC debate that Iran might have a good reason to keep oil prices under control: Because it lacks refining capacity, it must import about 40% of its gasoline.

So prices might soar at the pump in Iran, as well, in the event of a confrontation. That could further weaken the political power of President Ahmadinejad, whose popularity is already diminishing at home, Bailey said. He didn’t mention it, but one reason for his falling popularity is Iran’s recent decision to ration and raise prices of gasoline."

Ration and raise prices of gasoline? Where have I heard that policy advanced recently? [geddit?]

Brilliant logic. Iran wants to raise the price of petrol. Al Gore wants to raise the price of petrol. Hence Al Gore = Iran! But seriously: everything that Murray got from the WSJ blog is right: Iran has a loony policy of massive subsidies on petrol but it doesn't have enough refining capacity. So it blows a huge chunk of its oil revenue on paying Indian refineries for petrol, and Tehran stinks because of all of the pollution since so many people have cars running on that cheap petrol. The only long-term remedy is to move towards a market price for petrol, but this apparently is now something that only a bad man like Al Gore could advocate.

Incidentally, Iain also botches the html in his post, as it currently looks like his last sentence, the 2nd dig at Gore, was included in the WSJ post.

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